“He opens up to me, then avoids me for several days afterwards”

So, I’ve got this guy friend. We’re pretty close. I have a bit of a crush on him I think, and he seems to have a little teensy bit of a soft spot for me, but neither of us ever say anything about that beyond some vague-flirty-teasing. We’re just friends. I’m mostly ok with this. Our lives are very VERY different/incompatible. He’s been a good friend, too, and I don’t necessarily want to risk losing that.

Here’s the issue. Despite being an open and friendly guy he’s not so great with vulnerability and weakness. It’s rare for him to admit he has bad days/feels sadness/pain, etc. You know how it goes. Typical guy stuff.

I can respect that. I’m not a very open person at all so I never push, because I hate it when people push me. I never even ask beyond the occasional “Are you ok?”, and I always just drop it when he says he’s fine.

On a few occasions now, he has randomly decided to tell me what’s going on with him, and talk about some really difficult topics rather than our usual chatter.

And then he spends the next few days to a week avoiding me, keeping our conversations very short, light and distant, if I approach him. That seems to be the pattern. We’ll have a few days where we happen to have several conversations in a row that end up on really personal topics, and then it’s like a switch is flipped and he can hardly be around me.

I just want to know if it’s something I’m doing, or not doing that’s causing that. I don’t want him to feel like he can’t talk to me, but, I don’t want him to feel like I’m expecting him to talk to me about that stuff. And I don’t understand the cold shoulder he keeps giving me.

4 thoughts on ““He opens up to me, then avoids me for several days afterwards”

  1. JB says:

    I tend to do this very same thing. It’s very difficult to talk about serious issues or events that happen, so when I finally do discuss it with someone I really care about, I panic afterwards. Self-doubt, fear of saying something dumb, or too embarrassing, or tending to regret saying anything at all depending on the reaction of whom I’m telling, is just enough to keep me away for awhile.
    I don’t know if he tends to do the same, but the pattern sounds familiar. It may not be you at all that causes this behavior. It could be just the way he is.
    The best thing I can suggest is just be the great friend that you have been. If he does it often enough you may realize that it really is just how he is, and then you must decide if it’s worth the risk of something more, or if you prefer the friendship that you have.
    Good luck in whatever happens.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What is your end goal here? Do you want him to open up so you two can create a relationship? Does he have a girlfriend? He may feel guilty for sharing with you instead of his significant other.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its complicated. We have a lot of chemistry. Its really….. effortless. We agree on a lot of topics and work well together… But I know we wouldn’t be compatible for anything more than a temporary fling because we want different things. Our flirty banter escalates just barely to the point where someone would have to make a move or admit something and then we both back down and neither of us says anything about it. Its been that way for almost a year.

      He’s currently seeing someone but we’ve been friends through his last 3 relationships and him being single or attached doesn’t really change how he acts towards me at all…. which has been confusing within itself.

      Ive resigned myself to the idea that were just friends. I guess my end goal is just that I don’t want to lose him and Im having trouble navigating whats going on with him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    maybe make it clear that you are just friends. then we can, as a friend, address your feelings that he closes himself off.

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